Southeast Asian Pork and Pumpkin
(Children's Hospital Columbus, Ohio)
Story behind this recipe
Like so many languages, this dish blends the tastes of a region, with ingredients from Thailand, Indonesia and China; but the dish itself is Vietnamese. Unusual mixture of flavors for Westerners, but very delicious.
(A note on my "institution" and department - Lingusitics was my study before medical school and remains an enjoyable avocation. It has many applicable aspects to medicine, which I hope to someday write more about it, once I have finished my necessary professional publications).
2 pork chops cut into 1" bite-size pieces (remove bone and excess fat)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp peanut oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Chopped yellow bell pepper
Chopped red bell pepper
10 baby carrots quartered lengthwise
1 celery stalk chopped in 1/4" pieces
1 green onion sliced thinly
Sliced canned black olives
Pumpkin pie mix (canned)
1 tbsp marjoram ( 1/2 tbsp if fresh)
2 tsp soy sauce
Coconut milk (Thai)
Fresh ground pepper
Lightly salt the pieces of pork. Roll the pieces of meat in the powdered dry mustard until well covered. Heat oil over fairly high heat, but not enough to smoke. It is best to use a wok and long chop sticks to sauté the initial ingredients. Add the meat to the hot oil and stir constantly. Once the meat starts to brown, add the fresh vegetables and olives. Keep stirring for about a minute. Grind plenty of pepper over the sizzling ingredients, then add the fish sauce, chili pepper sauce, sake and ginger and stir for 15–20 seconds, lower the heat, then cover and simmer for about a minute. Uncover and quickly stir in the curry paste, pumpkin, marjoram and soy sauce. Stir for about thirty seconds on medium heat, then add the coconut milk and stir until smooth. Turn the heat back to low and stir slowly for about a minute or two as the sauce thickens. Serve immediately. Obviously good with rice.